I’m serious. We put the entire puzzle together. Then we took it apart, and when we put it together again, it was gone. I looked everywhere. In the trash. The sofa. The chairs. The toilet. The toy cabinet. Writing this prompted me to search again. No luck.
It’s been three years! At first (since I knew we’d be moving in a few months), I reconciled myself that I’d find the piece when I packed. I didn’t. Then, I thought I’d find it when I unpacked – surely it was just tucked away somewhere. Nope. It is not here.
Since I couldn’t find the missing piece, I made a filler. Can you tell? My grandsons could. They didn’t like the puzzle this way, and so, they haven’t put it together since. I kept the puzzle, thinking that maybe future grandchildren might be OK with the “O” piece. We’ll see.
Sometimes things are misplaced, and they turn up later just as mysteriously as they disappeared. Sometimes we hide things – and forget where we hid them – but with a little perseverance, we usually find them. Sometimes, things are lost forever and it does not matter how diligently we look for it, it is just gone.
This can apply not only to material things, but also to things that are central to our personality, things that are a part of us: love, safety, comfort, trust, respect, faithfulness, faith, contentment – or a host of attributes.
What have you hidden, misplaced, or lost? I can’t tell you how to find what you are specifically looking for; but I can say that everything that makes us whole is found in God. I know this for a fact. I’ve lived it. I’m living it.
For many years – actually for the majority of my life – I felt like I was not whole because a part of me was missing. It wasn’t lost – it was taken by someone who didn’t have the authority to take it. So, I created a piece to replace it.
Except, as you can see, I’m not really good at duplicating puzzle pieces. Things didn’t fit perfectly, colors didn’t match, and the picture didn’t look like it should. I tried to fill the gap in my life with what I later discovered was a distorted reality.
That distorted reality affected pretty much every part of who I was. Like the ABC Puzzle Train – there was an obvious issue with the middle piece, in my case, with my heart and mind. Therefore, my ability to trust completely and love unconditionally was compromised.
I know the Scriptures: God heals hearts! He heals brokenness. He heals errors in thinking. He heals relationships. He is the Lord who heals (Exodus 15:26). He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3 NIV). I know that when we are saved, we are made whole; if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV.)
However, I also know that I have to work out what God has put in – I have to diligently work with God, through the Holy Spirit so that I do not conform to the pattern of this world, but am transformed by the renewing of my mind (Romans 12:2). As I both study and apply God’s Word to my life – to my brokenness – God changes me from the inside out.
I also know that I must allow God’s grace to minister to my heart, and I must be gracious toward me; as gracious as God is. I must forgive my own sins and failures because they are not a part of who I am any longer – God has removed them from me as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12).
I’m just now beginning to figure out how to do all of that and what it looks like. It means that I need to confess that I didn’t make the best puzzle piece after all. I tried, but I failed. It means that I have to let go of the old life and let God make a brand new one; after all, he alone can create new things. It means that my new life isn’t my old life patched up – it is a new life.
If you’ve lost something, if you’re trying to fill the void with something you’ve created, maybe it’s time to let God take over.
Perhaps you haven’t lost anything, perhaps you feel like you are what is lost. God knows right where you are, every moment of every day; you cannot hide from God, you cannot be hidden from God. You are not lost.
God knows where you are and he knows the perfect place for you. When you seek him, you will find him, he promises you that; and when you find him, you will find your place. He has a perfectly fitted place for you, and he is perfectly fitting you for that place.
Will you work with God today to become the best you that you can be, the whole you, the complete you, the you God created you to be, so that you can fill the place he perfectly created just for you?
Are you looking for a tool to help you to stay in God’s Word this summer?
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